Wesfarmers has received a boost, with Moody's upgrading its issuer and senior unsecured long term debt rating from Baa1 (positive) to A3 (stable).

"This upgrade reflects the cash generative nature of the Group's businesses and our debt management initiatives which continue to improve key credit metrics," finance director Terry Bowen said.

The retail giant lifted its first quarter sales for the year, with stronger sales across its flagship Coles, Kmart and Target stores.

Chief executive Richard Goyder told shareholders at Wesfarmers' annual general meeting last week that the company was meeting performance targets, despite mixed results for its industrial and resources businesses. 

Wesfarmers shares gained 56 cents to sit at $34.94 at close of trade today.